Common Physical Security Threats to Smartphones, Tablets and Laptops
- Theft/Loss: Be vigilant! Don’t let professional and personal information on your mobile devices and laptops fall into the wrong hands.
- Shoulder Surfers: Be alert to these “social engineers” who will be happy to peek over your shoulder while you access sensitive data in public places.
- Eavesdropping: Never discuss sensitive information where you might be overheard. Remember the old wartime mantra “Loose lips sink ships,” and make important phone calls only when you have adequate privacy.
Protect Yourself by Following These Common Sense Mobile Security Practices
- Never leave your mobile devices unattended, and don’t trust a stranger to watch them.
- Use a privacy filter. It’s an effective way to prevent shoulder surfers from seeing what’s on your device. (Dimming your screen also helps.)
- Use your own data connection or hotspot, not WiFI, when connecting in a public place. Avoid accessing sensitive data in public places.
- Personalize your devices. Apply unique stickers or decorative cases on your personal devices to deter thieves who hope to steal them. (Verify company policy before you decorate business-owned devices.)
- Use a sturdy case to protect your phone or laptop from accidents that could render them inoperable.
- Seek privacy while you’re in airports, cafés, and other public places. Look for a spot where nobody can peer over your shoulder or listen to your private conversations.
- Password-protect all your devices.
- Program your devices to automatically lock after short periods of non-use.
- Use lock screens to provide an extra layer of security.
Remember, both the security of your items and your personal security benefit from situational awareness. Stay alert when using your device in a public place.